Houston, Texas-based Jesse Sendejas and Whitney Flynn founded folk-punk band Days N’ Daze in 2008. They’ve built up a large and loyal following due to their rollicking self-described “thrashgrass” music, energetic live shows, and frequent touring circuits. Fresh off a European tour, Jesse Sendejas (vocals, guitar, mandolin, banjo) graciously took the time out of his busy schedule to dive into the details of Days N’ Daze, including new music on the horizon and upcoming tour info.
Hello Jesse! It’s so good to connect with you about your sonically potent, lyrically perceptive, and DIY brew of folk-punk music, otherwise known by your self-described tag as “thrashgrass”. Where are you at the moment and what are the vibes like?
Rollin' into Amsterdam!! Excited for a night off. Vibes are great!! Mischief Brew playing loudly in the van and the German beers we had with lunch are taking effect.
From what I understand, the band just finished up a tour, but you had to leave the circuit early. Hope all is well! Can you go into why you had to cut the tour short?
I had just finished 30 days straight with my other project, Escape from the ZOO, and in the maelstrom of stress, bad decisions, and general chaos that is a typical Days N’ Daze tour I just forgot to eat, sleep, and hydrate. My body kinda gave me the middle finger, and knowing that we were about to do a month in Europe, everyone decided it'd be smarter for me to go get healthy than push it and put myself in a bad situation overseas. I deeply apologize to everyone who attended the shows that I missed. I'm sorry I wasn't there to help out, but from what I heard, the rest of the crew held it down.
Besides you and Whitney, who’s in the band these days?
We've got the lovely Meagan Melancon on washboard and the always entertaining Geoff Bell on gutbucket.
Your latest album, Crustfall, was released last spring. Do you have new tunes in the pipeline? Any chance of an album or EP arriving in the near future?
We do!! We have maybe 14 or so demo tracks recorded and if all goes well, we'll be releasing a full-length with some folks that we've looked up to since we were kids. I don't think I can say much more about it just yet, though.
Are you and Whitney self-taught musicians? What is your favorite instrument to play?
Whit was in band in high school. That's how she knows how to play trumpet. She taught herself uke and piano, I believe. I'm self taught. That's a great question about favorite instrument to play. Drums, for sure. It’s what I started on and is still my favorite.
You are a DIY, grassroots band that has built up a huge following. Do you know how you caught fire with your fans? Was it all by word of mouth or did you actively promote yourself on socials or…?
We toured pretty much non-stop for half a decade. We played music at gas stations to fill up the tank to make it to the next show. Just kept making, recording, and playing music. We handed out free CDs to anyone who'd take ‘em. Also, we owe the world to Leftover Crack. They kinda took us under their wing and I think that's the main reason we've had any sort of "success".
On average during the year, how much time do you spend on the road and performing shows?
Maybe 7 months out of the year overall. Between side projects and Days N’ Daze.
Do you actually have a permanent home base or do you continually travel the land? If you are nomadic, do you sporadically set up camp and hang out for at least a few days or weeks?
Geoff, Whitney, and I kick it in Houston to rest up and recover between tours and Meagan retreats to San Antonio.
Do you find the heavy schedule of traveling to be invigorating or grueling, or both, depending on the circumstances? How does this kind of life impact your music? Sorry to keep asking about this, but I’m usually an armchair traveler and your way of living interests me!
Haha, no sweat, Boba Fett!! Asking questions is what interviews are for, right? It’s definitely half and half. It's hard on the body and the mind. I think people may have a romanticized idea of what we do. It seems like they think we’re always on some adventure or vacation. The reality of touring constantly is just a ton of waiting. You sit in a van, you get out, play a show, get back in the van, repeat. We do get to see and experience things we couldn’t if we were working 9-to-5. Music has taken us around the world and introduced us to some of the greatest friends we could ever hope to know. So in no way am I complaining. I absolutely love what I do.
Have you gotten any hassle traveling around these past couple of years under the current idiocracy in the U.S. and the idiots who believe in and blindly follow the rampant lies and inhumane malevolence spewed by the dangerous and destructive Trump and his Republican lackeys?
Firstly, beautifully worded. Maybe surprisingly, it hasn't really had an effect on our tours in the States. However, it does seem like, and this could just be in my head, we've had more trouble with borders overseas and with Canada.
On your Bandcamp profile it lists a July 26th show in the Czech Republic! How did you snag that gig? Do you have other live sets lined up soon?
Our friend Matt at Pumpkin Records is the greatest and put this European tour together for us!! It took me a lifetime to answer these questions, and for that I apologize, because this tour just ended yesterday. The next show we have is The Fest in Gainesville, Florida on October 27th, I believe. After that, we tour up to the Northeast bit of the States and then we go to Australia in December!!